NEWS STORIES

Monico vandal to serve 9 months in county jail Submitted: 12/10/2013

RHINELANDER - Itís been almost a year since 14 homes and businesses were vandalized in the town of Monico.

The damage three teenagers caused was roughly $100,000.

One of those teens learned his punishment today.

"I would like to say that I am sorry and I do want to change. Become a better part of society." said 18-year-old Anthony Briggs.

Briggs along with two other teenagers vandalized homes and businesses in Monico.

He was found guilty ten of 14 charges.

Today he apologized for his wrong doing.

But District Attorney Steve Michlig didnít believe he took full responsibility for his actions.

"There were 14 break-ins for which he says he was involved in four or five of them. I donít think thatís true. " Michlig said.

In the presentencing, Briggs said 17-year-old Jeffrey Stefonik peer-pressured him to do the break-ins.

"He was concerned that Stefonik would call in law enforcement if he didnít continue breaking into houses," said Michlig.

"Not only does he fail to accept responsibility, but he offers an explanation which is at best flimsy."

Despite that, his defense attorney says heís been getting his act together.

"He has been significantly engaged in a high school life. Here he is in court." Briggs Defense Attorney, John Voorhees said.

None of the victims were there in court today, but they did send letters expressing how these damages have affected them.

We visited Brian Wierzbicki in January hours after he found the damages to his home.

"While these are property crimes, I think that itís fair to say that for certainly the Wierzbicki family, life will never be the same." Michlig said.

Judge Michael Bloom didnít feel it was necessary Briggs should serve his time in the Wisconsin state prison system.

But he did think it was necessary for a different form of punishment.

"Iím not going to impose any jail time as a condition of probation," Bloom said.

"However on the two theft counts, Iím going to impose straight sentences of nine months in the county jail on each count."

Briggs will serve five years of probation after his time in jail.

Story By: Shardaa Gray

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 IN OTHER NEWS
Police: Smoking in bathroom caused school fireSubmitted: 04/24/2014

OCONTO - Police say a student smoking in a bathroom caused a fire that resulted in an estimated $5 million in smoke damage at Oconto High School.

After reviewing surveillance video and interviewing students and staff members, Oconto police have identified as 16-year-old student as a person of interest.

Firefighters interviewed the student, who said he left class early and went to the bathroom, where he smoked a home-rolled cigarette.

Police believe the cigarette was used too close to a toilet paper dispenser, causing an accidental fire. No one else used the bathroom after the boy.

The April 16 fire forced the building to be evacuated. Students returned to class Monday at Oconto Middle School.

WLUK-TV (http://bit.ly/1lJIFZH) reports the boy is being referred to the Oconto County Department of Human Services.

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Statewide tornado drillSubmitted: 04/24/2014

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RHINELANDER - There was no severe weather Thursday, but sirens across the Northwoods were blaring at about 1:45 pm on Thursday.

That's because the National Weather Service held a statewide tornado drill.

It was part of their severe weather awareness week, and Oneida County took part in the drill.

"The sirens are only set off for warnings, in the city of Rhinelander, it's only going to be a Severe Thunderstorm Warning that is affecting the city area," said Oneida County Emergency Management Director Ken Kortenhof. "It's also going to be set off for a Tornado Warning affecting the area."

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Couple facing charges for keeping and selling prescription drugsSubmitted: 04/24/2014

LAC DU FLAMBEAU - A married couple from Lac Du Flambeau face a total of nine charges in connection to keeping and selling prescription drugs.

They could spend more than 30 years in federal prison if convicted of maximum sentences, according to a Department of Justice press release.

Charlie Sunn Meshigaud, 25, and Andrew Meshigaud, 28, face charges in federal court.

Police believe the two kept and planned on selling Oxycodone between January and June 2013.

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Hodag water show pavilion needs repair Submitted: 04/24/2014

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RHINELANDER - It won't be much longer before the Hodag water show gears up for the summer, but right now they need to make repairs to their building. Rod Olson says it may cost between $15,000 and $20,000 to make repairs to the building. To watch the video click on the video link.

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WisDOT leaders hopeful for increase in Northwoods railSubmitted: 04/24/2014

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ACROSS THE NORTHWOODS - Railroads give businesses a chance to move loads of material for a low cost. Loggers could use rail as an alternative to trucking material, but many businesses donít get that opportunity in the Northwoods anymore.

Canadian National bought rail in the Northwoods about a decade ago. They have cut back service drastically since then.

Some counties haven't seen train travel in years, which hurts business. Now, those businesses want to reestablish rail service.

In response, a group of counties in Northern Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan formed the Northwoods Rail Transit Commission.

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Educating seniors about drug abuseSubmitted: 04/24/2014

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LAC DU FLAMBEAU - Drug addicts can look nearly everywhere to get their fix, and sometimes they can get that by raiding their family's medicine cabinet.

That's why Lac du Flambeau police gave a drug presentation at an event for the elderly Thursday.

Police leaders wanted to show seniors what could happen if they didn't keep track of their medications.

"A lot of times the elderly and older population can be victims from this. As the younger children, grandchildren, things like that are you know coming in and taking their grandparents prescription drugs," says Sarah Keuer, a nurse at Peter Christensen Health Center.

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UPDATE: Police believe they made right choice in Nerf gun ticketsSubmitted: 04/24/2014

WAUSAU - UPDATE: 5:52pm 4/24/2014

Police believe they made the right choice handling a report of gunmen near a high school in Wausau Tuesday night.

They found out the gunmen were actually six kids playing a game with toy Nerf guns.

Police eventually ended up giving the high school seniors disorderly conduct tickets.

Some people thought the tickets were excessive, but in a press release in released Thursday by the Wausau Police Department said they "believed there was a serious, potentially life threatening situation".

Someone called the Wausau police around 9:45 p.m. Tuesday.

The person said there were people pointing guns at other people in a car.

Police say they handled the situation different than a traffic stop because of the seriousness of the call.

After police got all the seniors out of the car, they saw the nerf guns.

The teens got the disorderly conduct citations because police say they caused a disruption in the neighborhood.

Leaders at Wausau West High School said in a statement that there's "potential in a game like this for negative consequences."

Some of the students have also been placed on athletic probation.

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Six kids got tickets after a battle using toy Nerf guns in Wausau.

Police issued disorderly conduct citations to the high school seniors.

Some residents of Wausau called police when they saw the young people pointing a gun at a car Tuesday night.

But, it was only a toy Nerf gun that shoots foam bullets.

Wausau West High School officials have also placed some students on athletic probation.

(Copyright 2014 Associated Press - All Rights Reserved)

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